Theatrical adventure in Ikartsu Castle: “The Last Days of Nesterval”

Imperial Jagdschloss der Bundesforste in Donau-Auen as preparation for the theatrical experience – new production of the Vienna cult group “Nesterval” – October/November 2022

Vienna / Birkersdorf / Ikartzu (OTS) The last chapter of the Danube Kingdom was written in 1918 in a hunting lodge not far from Vienna: at Ekartzu Castle, halfway between Vienna and Bratislava, and today overseen by the Austrian Forest Confederation (ÖBf), Emperor Karl I signed the Declaration of Abdication. The Hungarian half of the empire, thus stamping the end of the more than 600-year-old Danube monarchy and spending the remaining time in Austria, including Christmas 1918, with his family at Ekartsu Castle. “The Last Days of the Nestervals,” a new production by Vienna’s band Nestervals, makes this piece of contemporary Austrian history tangible in October and November 2022 in a special way at Ekartzu Castle. The boundaries between reality and fantasy become blurred. One evening, visitors can fully immerse themselves in the past, in the sanctuary of Ikartzu and the history of the last days of Austria’s imperial family.

“The former imperial hunting lodge Eckartsau is nestled in the wild nature of the Donau-Auen National Park and is an important trekking destination in the region. We are very pleased that now also the preparation for a special theatrical production in Vienna that makes it possible to experience the cultural and historical past of this place in a fascinating way,” says Georg Schäuble, Member of the Board of Directors of OBf Finance and Real Estate.

“Every night at Nesterval is unique and challenging for us as well. We love it and take our guests by the hand in the midst of mystery and uncertainty. There we play together and experience unique, amazing and poignant moments. That is why we do it. That is why we look incredibly forward to Eckartsau Castle with its fascinating history. !”, said the creator of Nesterval Martin Finland and Teresa Löfberg.

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The new production “The Last Days of the Nestervals” takes on the historical context surrounding the end of the Danube kingdom and makes it available in a site-specific immersive theater project being implemented in the rooms of Eckartsau Castle. The historical events in Ekartsau are viewed from two points of view, both the self-perception of the declining family and the viewpoint of the political countercurrents having their say. The show opens a communication space that invites visitors to discuss social and political issues, dealing with migration, aviation, and war, as well as equal opportunity and diversity during and after the performance. The visitors themselves are the participants in the work. The roles of family members, ladies-in-waiting, low-ranking servants, clergymen, hunters, and foresters assigned by drawing lots accompany them until the end of the evening. You will explore Eckartsau Castle and gradually learn about the fictional/real history of the Nesterval family. Based on true events in the last days of the Habsburg family at Ekartzu Castle, the stage show traces the prevailing way of life at the time, blending dialogues from Karl Krause’s book “The Last Days of Mankind” and referring to series of epics such as “The Great”, “The Crown” and “Bridgerton” . The nearly 3-hour play ends with a surprising twist when it comes to deciding the future fate of the Nesterval family. Production will take place on 15 dates in October/November 2022. Tickets are available for 39€ or 75€ from 12 September 2022. A shuttle service is available from Vienna to the castle and back. All information can be found at:

Ikartsu multi-use castle

Historic Schloss Eckartsau Castle and the surrounding forests are cared for and preserved by Federal Foresters, which also brings the majority of areas to Donau-Auen National Park, and at the same time serves as the headquarters for ÖBf National Park Operations Donau-Oen. The castle, which has been restored over the years, is now open to the public and a popular place for excursions and a green oasis between the two main cities of Bratislava and Vienna. In addition to the national park information point, cozy castle park, and castle café, the show includes numerous exhibitions, concerts, and theater performances, as well as castle and nature tours on various special topics. With its idyllic surroundings in the Donau-Auen National Park, it is not only a magnet for many people interested in culture and nature, but it is also a popular location for film, photo and television productions. The unique blend of castle and nature experience is also very popular with couples. All information about the current program can be found at

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Questions and contact:

Austrian Federal Forest
Mag (FH) Birgit Genzler, Nature/Environment Spokesperson
Tel: 1523-600-02231

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